It reminded me of a wake I attended many years ago. It was held Down Neck in Newark in Rucki Funeral Home (known by everyone as “Rucki’s” — pronounced “Rookie’s”), which was The Place to be laid out back then. You could always count on a couple old Polish ladies from the neighborhood coming in off the street to view the body and cry, even though they didn’t know the person in the casket.
Anyway, the deceased in this case was a guy who was one of my uncle’s buddies, and he was sort of a Soprano’s type fellow (although he died of natural causes). I only vaguely knew him, but I went because he was my uncle’s friend. The funeral home was packed with flowers and people, and all the friends of the deceased lined up to console the widow, “Yo, if you need anything, you just call. Anything at all – just call.”
Based on the outpouring of affection being displayed in the room where the body was, I figured the guy had been a friend to everyone and had been the salt of the earth, so to speak.
After a while, it was time to retreat to the smoking room for a break. My uncle was there along with several of the men who had offered solace to the grieving widow. I figured that I would join in with the deceased’s friends in some light repartee about what a fine fellow he was and how much he would be missed.
We stood in a small circle making small talk until one of dead guy’s friends said, “F**k, this funeral shit: they should have backed up the garbage truck to take the c**ksucker the f**k away.”
I think lots of wakes at Rucki’s were like that.
It’s a Jersey thing.